Grid of the Future

In 2021, SPP’s board approved the Aspire 2021-26 Strategic Plan to guide the organization’s work. The plan defined five strategic opportunities that aimed to strengthen the core of SPP’s business intelligence and provide game changing opportunities for the region and membership. Among them was an opportunity to look beyond normal planning horizons and identify what the Grid of the Future held in store for SPP and its stakeholders, region and industry.

The board formed the Future Grid Strategy Advisory Group (FGSAG) and charged it with two tasks:  a) explore how the electric grid will change over the next 10-15 years, and b) make recommendations to SPP and its membership to prepare for those changes. The group surveyed its members to identify consequential changes over this time horizon and categorized results into four areas: Consumer Trends, Policy Implications, Resource Impacts, and Transmission Possibilities. Subsequently, the group divided into four sub-teams to produce white papers that examined the concerns related to each topic in more detail and defined preliminary recommendations for SPP and its members.

In April 2023, the FGSAG presented their findings in the Grid of the Future Report, a report that identifies trends and strategic pathways that could be disruptive and game changing for SPP and its members in the next 10-15 years. The assessments includes recommendations in five categories:

  •  Energy Adequacy/Modeling/Planning
  • Grid Services/Market Design/Operations
  • Transmission
  • Demand-Side Resources
  • Innovation & Collaboration

The future of the electric grid is vitally important to our stakeholders, and this research sets the stage for the many discussions that will occur among stakeholders to prepare SPP to meet the needs of its members. The FGSAG will work with the Strategic Planning Committee to track and pursue these recommendations over the coming months. The work to investigate and implement these recommendations will set the stage for subsequent reports on the grid of the future.